Climbing the Ladder

Date: 15 January 2013

New programme to support migrant and refugee entrepreneurs launched in Lambeth

The Young Foundation and Metropolitan Migration Foundation today [15 January 2013] launch a new programme, Community Level Investment for Migrant Businesses (CLIMB), that will provide significant support and funding for entrepreneurs from migrant, refugee and ethnic minority communities.

The launch event in Lambeth at the Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre is open anyone interested in participating in the programme, and will offer free business workshops and investment information to all attendees on the day.

CLIMB is looking for a wide variety of migrant entrepreneurs, from builders, cleaners and interpreters through to youth workers and community organisers. Participants in CLIMB will receive one month of valuable support from The Young Foundation on growing their venture, developing their business model, and communicating the value of their social impact.

At the end of the programme, entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch to a Dragon’s Den-style panel. Up to four successful businesses will be awarded a year of business mentoring from Young Foundation experts, office space, seed funding and access to further investment.

While the social enterprise sector is flourishing in the UK, there is limited involvement from migrant, refugee and ethnic minorities. Lack of access to credit and funding alongside religious, gender and language barriers all contribute to the issue. As a result, opportunities for potentially high impact and community-focused enterprises and entrepreneurs are lost.

Margaret Ogebule, Project Leader for CLIMB at The Young Foundation said: “We are looking for individuals or businesses from migrant and refugee communities who are enthusiastic about social change, have that entrepreneurial flair and the drive to make their ideas happen.”

Paul Birtill, Director of Metropolitan Migration Foundation said: “Whilst the social enterprise sector is growing with a wealth of opportunity, we are concerned that there is limited involvement from migrant communities. We are supporting The Young Foundation to deliver this programme to create real opportunities for local social entrepreneurs. It is these individuals who create potentially important and community-focused enterprises benefiting the wider community.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1. For full details please contact Kate Bagley at The Young Foundation on 07503 053 000 or kate.bagley@youngfoundation.org, or Lucy Rowles at Metropolitan on 020 3535 4380.

2. Metropolitan Migration Foundation, which is part of Metropolitan, aims to help migrants and the communities they live in, including people who are refugees or asylum seekers. Metropolitan is a social and community development organisation which provides an integrated package of housing services, care and support and community regeneration.

3. The Young Foundation is determined to make positive social change happen. We pioneered the field of social innovation with The Open University, UpRising and Studio Schools. We work closely with individuals, communities and partners building relationships to ensure that our thinking does something, our actions matter and the changes we make together will continue to grow. (www.youngfoundation.org)